Over the weekend, the social media team at Valiant Entertainment took to twitter and responded to this post that we first brought to you back in February. If you recall, superstar artist — and former Valiant creator — Bernard Chang expressed his reservations about the redesign of Valiant’s signature Asian superhero, Rai. Specifically, the artist criticized the publisher’s decision to integrate the motif of Japan’s World War II-era military flag into the hero’s look.

Thanks to this tweet by @feministallies, someone at Valiant Comics has responded to the controversy that has also been reported across the comics blogosphere, including at sites such as Bleeding Cool and Inside Pulse.

The rest of the twitter exchange can be found after the jump.

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2 thoughts on “Valiant Comics Responds to War Flag Controversy

  1. That’s it? Trust us that we understand enough about imperial Japan to avoid insulting its victims? This isn’t a response, this is a put off.

    Keith, I think there are plenty of narrative reasons why a superhero character design using the imperial Japanese flag or National Socialist symbolism could be completely appropriate. So long as the writing directly confronts the character design in such manner as to make clear for readers that the potentially offensive symbols are co-opted by the character(s) involved for a particular purpose. As long as the writing is detailed enough on the subject, the symbols are fair game.

    But the “Trust us!” response here is telling. I’m not sure why a reader should complete an entire first story arc for a comic book where one of the major characters boasts a costume design that offends their sensibilities, on the off chance that by the end of the arc (and after a consumer has purchased roughly $15-20 worth of comics books) the reader might know a little something about why said protagonist wears an costume that many would find horrifically nationalistic. To be clear, I found the anger over this costume update slightly hyperbolic, but this response completely ensures that I won’t pay for that comic.

    In contrast, the very first Blade of the Immortal trade I ever read offered a disclaimer about the swastika on the main character’s kimono before the story began; Valiant should have taken a cue from Dark Horse and avoided this controversy before it started. And not for nothing Keith, but simply re-posting Valiant’s meager commentary on this subject is not enough. We really should be reading what you think about this response; this post tells us nothing we couldn’t have learned just by following Valiant on Twitter.

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  2. Who gives a dick? It takes place in the year 4000 AD for christ sakes! Times change, especially so after 2,000 years, it’s part of the history and anyone whining that their pathetically fragile sensibilities aren’t addressed in the first issue obviously doesn’t care about good storytelling or world building.

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